International Foundation Year

Studying at ESE means learning for life. The ESE International Foundation Year prepares you for University.


Level 3 International Foundation Year / Diploma for Higher Education Studies in Business, Computing or Engineering

NCC LogoIf you want to further your academic studies in an English-speaking country such as the UK, Canada, the US, Malta or Australia, you can fast track your progression onto an undergraduate course by following the International Foundation Year which ESE is offering in partnership with NCC Education, UK. The International Foundation Year (IFY) is recognised by over 30 universities worldwide. Students who successfully complete the International Foundation Year (IFY) qualifications are guaranteed entry on to a selection of University courses at Bangor University (UK), Birmingham City University (UK), Carroll University, CQU University and University Centre Croydon (UK).


Course Fast Facts 
Entry level:Standard Programme (starting September 2020): 4.5 IELTS or equivalent
Intensive Programme (starting January 2021): 5.5 IELTS or equivalent, High School certificate
Min age:17 years
Length of course:9 months (Standard Programme)
6 months (Intensive Programme)
Start date:Standard Programme: September Start Date
Intensive Programme: January Start Date
Class size:Max. 12


The International Foundation Year is a long-term academic programme which helps you develop your level of English proficiency and allows you to develop the skills necessary for academic success in the Business, IT or Engineering sectors.

When you enrol on the International Foundation Year, you benefit from the following:

  • Regular tutorials with a member of our academic staff to discuss your language development
  • Ongoing guidance from the Programme Director with your choice of University course 
  • Assistance with your university application and writing of your personal statement (if  required)
  • Access to the ESE daily student support group
  • Access to NCC Education Campus where you can download all of your module materials and assessment information, programme handbook and booklist
  • Participation on the Student Discussion Board platform through NCC Education Campus to ask questions;
  • Use of the ESE Self-Access Centre and Computer Labs.

Successful completion of the International Foundation Year means that you can apply for an undergraduate degree course in a range of business, IT or engineering subjects. Typical degree courses include courses in Computing, Information Systems, Computer Games Development, Software Engineering, Accounting & Management, Business Administration, Marketing Management, Accountancy & Finance, Economics, Human Resource Management, Multimedia Computing, Software Engineering, Web and Mobile Application Technology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Business Management with Sport, Aeronautical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering.

Successful International Foundation Year candidates can apply at any of the following universities which recognise the NCC Education IFY certificate* or to any other university through UCAS:
*Provided that all other entry requirements have been met.

Register now to benefit from a 10% Introductory Offer on the International Foundation Year Tuition prices for following start dates: January 2020 (Intensive Programme), September 2020 (Standard Programme).


  • Bangor University, Wales
  • Birmingham City University
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • De Montfort University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland
  • Heriot Watt University
  • Keele University International Study Centre
  • Kingston University London
  • Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Middlesex University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Staffordshire University
  • The University Of Huddersfield International Study Centre
  • The University Of Lincoln International Study Centre
  • University of Northampton
  • The University Of Sussex International Study Centre
  • University Centre, Croydon College
  • University of Abertay Dundee
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Essex
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Northumbria University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of the West of London
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • University of Worcester
  • University of York


  • University of Malta
  • Middlesex University – Malta Campus


  • Heidelberg University
  • Humboldt State University
  • University of Idaho
  • University Of North Alabama
  • Southern Oregon University
  • Carroll University


  • Thompson Rivers University

For the latest list of articulations or progression routes after following the International Foundation Year, visit the NCC Education website by clicking here.

What will you study when following the International Foundation Year?

Course content includes core modules in: English language (Developing English Language Skills  - 30 credits, Advanced English Language Skills - 20 credits, English for Academic Purposes - 10 credits) Study and Communication Skills (20 credits) Foundation Mathematics (10 credits) Culture Studies (10 credits) In addition, students must take any two of the following elective modules:

  • Introduction to Computing (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Programming (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Business (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Accounting and Economics (10 credits)

What are the International Foundation Year course entry requirements?

To be admitted on the course, you need:

  • To be 17+ years of age
  • To have a 4.5 IELTS or equivalent certificate for the Standard IFY (September start) or 5.5 IELTS or equivalent for the Intensive IFY (January start)*
  • To be in possession of a High School certificate

*If you have not reached this level, you can join our Pre-Sessional IFY course in Malta until you reach the required level.

How long is the course?

For successful completion of the programme you must follow the Standard Programme of 3 terms (30 weeks)  in Malta.  Students who join with an exceptionally high level of English (IELTS 5.5 or better) may be allowed to follow the Intensive Programme of 24 weeks only starting in January.

The total number of hours of study per week is  25 – 28 hours per week including research and self-study.

What certificate will I receive at the end of my International Foundation Year?

At the end of your course you will receive an International Foundation Year Certificate issued by NCC Education as well as an Academic Transcript giving details of your performance on the individual programme modules (Pass, Merit, Distinction) that you followed during your International Foundation Year.

How will I be assessed on the International Foundation Year?

Assessment is by global examination, global assignment and local examination. All assessment is carried out by NCC Education examiners. Assessment sessions are held throughout the year.

Higher Education Advisory Service

You benefit from academic counselling and support throughout your course. This will include: individual guidance to help you choose the right subjects and university course for you and support with the application process and writing of your personal statement.

You can choose to download the International Foundation Year application form or else contact us on